Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is determined to protect Nathan Redmond during his debut season in the Premier League.
The 19-year-old was one of Norwich’s stand-out performers in their 2-2 draw with Everton on Saturday and also impressed for England Under-21s in their comprehensive 6-0 win over Scotland last week.
Redmond moved to Carrow Road from Championship outfit Birmingham City in the close-season – and Hughton has moved to downplay some of the hype surrounding the teenager, insisting that Norwich will handle his development carefully.
“Do I expect him to play a full Premier League? I probably don’t want him to play a full Premier League season,” the manager told the Norwich Evening News.
“At the right times you want to be able to take him out.
“If he has, then he has done very well, but as young man he is not someone who has any fear or goes out there and doesn’t enjoy his football. He just wants to play and we’re delighted by his progress.”
Hughton recognises that it can be harmful to overplay youngsters in an environment as intense as the Premier League, as doing so can impede their long-term development.
However, the 54-year-old did admit to being impressed with Redmond’s performance against Everton.
“I am very conscious of what this league is,” he added. “It is unforgiving and we always have to make sure any young player who makes their way into the squad has to do it on merit and knowing how tough this league is.
“He showed what he is all about (against Everton). He will continue to go through a learning curve.
“He was certainly tested defensively against a full-back that at times played like a right winger, but he has an ability and we have got to make sure we harness that and get the best out of him.”